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Setting up the Meeting (Logistics)

In addition to a purposeful agenda that we talked about in last week’s blog, SART meetings benefit from having planning around the meeting logistics. This might sound basic, but we have found that teams need to be intentional in talking about these things when the team is forming and revisit them as needed. The coordinator’s role is in part ensuring these logistics are in place and also helping make sure that meeting logistics are known to all team members in advance.  Considerations around setting up meetings include:

  • Location
    • Some teams have a standing location and others move on a regular basis. This is dependent upon the needs of the team. Teams that move often have a team member “host” the meeting at their organization, which can help increase buy-in. Some teams move locations to ensure accessibility within large service areas, so that certain agencies don’t always have to travel long distances to attend the meeting. Parking should be taking into account when choosing location.
    • When choosing a location, the coordinator should make sure there is adequate space for the team as well as a room set-up that works for the needs of that meeting. Considerations include access to technology, table structure, and accessibility considerations (such as is there access to elevators and restroom access for all team members). The room should ideally be available shortly before and after the meeting so the meeting isn’t rushed by other parties needing to access the room.
  • Time/Date
    • Often, teams work best having a regular schedule for their meetings. This can be in intervals such as monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly based on the needs of the team.
    • The team should have on-going conversations about if the time of the meeting works best, paying attention to if certain members are regularly not able to attend the meetings. Some agencies may have ongoing conflicts at that time. Some people might have difficulty if the time coincides with scheduled things in their personal life, such as school pickup/drop off. Coordinators should consider these factors in meeting scheduling.
  • Virtual options
    • Some teams allow access to the meeting remotely, through a web platform or through the phone. If this is an option, the coordinator should ensure that all members have access to connection information before the meeting. It is also beneficial to test out the technology beforehand to limit distractions during the meeting.

These are just a portion of logistics that teams need to think about. If your team meeting structure, frequency, or location isn’t working, look into options for changing! We consider these things vital parts of the system change work of SARTs. What are other things that you consider when considering meeting logistics? Please leave in the comments to help other coordinators!